Orlando Pirates v Simba SC

Orlando Pirates were given an excellent chance of reaching the CAF Confederation Cup final after the quarter-final and semi-final draws. Photo: Twitter @CAFCLCC

Favourable draws set up Orlando Pirates to reach CAF Confederation Cup final

Orlando Pirates were given an excellent chance of reaching the CAF Confederation Cup final after the quarter-final and semi-final draws.

Orlando Pirates v Simba SC

Orlando Pirates were given an excellent chance of reaching the CAF Confederation Cup final after the quarter-final and semi-final draws. Photo: Twitter @CAFCLCC

Orlando Pirates were given an excellent chance of reaching a second CAF Confederation Cup final after being handed favourable quarter-final and semi-final draws in Cairo on Tuesday.

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The Buccaneers face Tanzanian outfit Simba SC in the last-eight phase of the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League with the first leg in Dar es Salaam on Easter Sunday, 17 April.

Orlando Pirates, who lost 2-1 on aggregate to Tunisian team Etoile Sahel in the 2015 final, will host the return match in Soweto the following weekend.

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Simba SC also travelled to South Africa last season, and suffered a 4-0 hiding from Kaizer Chiefs in a CAF Champions League quarter-final.

The Tanzanian side staged a brave second-leg comeback to win 3-0, but finished overall losers as they seek to become the first team from the east African nation to win a CAF club competition. 

Should Orlando Pirates overcome Simba SC, they will tackle a Libyan club, Al-Ittihad or Tripoli neighbours Al Ahly, in the semi-finals in May, with the first match in the oil-rich north Africa nation.

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Orlando Pirates lost 3-2 away and drew 0-0 at home against Al-Ittihad in the group stage, but a team captained by veteran centre-back Happy Jele will be hopeful of reversing the results should they meet again.

Ahly Tripoli surprisingly won Group A ahead of Egyptian big spenders Pyramids and will start as slight favourites to win the Libyan derby.

In the other half of the quarter-finals draw, Pyramids confront two-time CAF Confederation Cup winners TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Funded by Saudi and Emirati petro dollars, Pyramids are competing for a third consecutive season and finished runners-up and reached the semi-finals in previous attempts.

Mazembe have lost the now ageing stars who helped them win the CAF Champions League three times during the past decade, but won Group C and remain particularly strong at home in the mining city of Lubumbashi.

Moroccan outfit Renaissance Berkane, the other former CAF Confederation Cup title-holders in the field, travel to Egypt for the first leg of a quarter-final against Al Masry.

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CAF CONFEDERATION CUP DRAWS

Quarter-finals

Simba (TAN) v Orlando Pirates (RSA)

Al Ittihad (LBA) v Al Ahly Tripoli (LBA)

Pyramids (EGY) v TP Mazembe (COD)

Al Masry (EGY) v Renaissance Berkane (MAR)

First legs: April 17; second legs: April 24

Semi-finals

Ittihad or Ahly v Simba or Pirates

Pyramids or Mazembe v Masry or Berkane

First legs: May 8; second legs: May 15

Note: Single-match final will be played between May 22 and 29 at a venue to be announced

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse